NIGHT TERRORS

Wifey is a fitful sleeper, I’m sorry to report. She spends much of each night worrying up philosophical dilemmas to tax me with at breakfast.

“When did you first realize you were mortal?” she asked this morning.

“.... blueberry, please.” says I.

“What? What does that mean?”

“... means I’d prefer a blueberry muffin to a cranberry muffin... please.”

“That’s not what I asked you.”

“Sorry Sweetie. What was it again?”

“When did you first say to yourself, ‘I’m going to die.’ ”?

“Well, the first time I laid eyes on you, actually. ‘Nice lady,’ I thought, but a goner.”

“Not me. Once in your life be serious. When did you first realize YOU’d die?”

“It’s a ridiculous question.”

“Why?”

“It’s like asking when did I first realize I was Bugs Bunny. I never did.”

“In other words, you think you’re immortal.”

“No, it’s a semantic problem. You keep using the words ‘you’ and ‘you’re’ like you know who you mean ... and maybe you do. But I have no idea who you mean ... so how do I know what or when he’s realized ... anything?”

“Pretending you don’t know who you are ... is that it? That’s just a dopey dodge. Why can’t you give a straight answer to anything?”

“Well, I know who YOU are ... I think. Would you trust me to tell the world who YOU are?”

“Not for a minute.”

“No, nor would you trust anyone else either, I bet. Only you could tell us, but it wouldn’t be easy would it? You’d have to write a whole autobiography probably, huh?”

“Probably, yes.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere, cuz that’s exactly what I’m doing. I writing my autobiography, and when I get it done, I’ll have the answer to your question. Maybe.”

“You’re writing an autobiography?”

“Yes.”

“How’s it going?”

“Well, let me tell you, it’s not easy. You’re never quite sure you’ve got all the facts straight, of course. But if you just loosen up and let your mind run free, it gets easier as you go. Large parts of it are fictional, of course.”

“I see. You’re writing a FICTIONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY. That’ll be instructive. Generations of Schusters will rehearse that memoir, I bet. Why must you always play the fool?”

“It’s a disguise really. You have to be someone till, you figure out who you really are. If you practice you can actually make it work. But I only tell my loved ones, of course. So now you know. And you’ll always be able to recognize me in a crowd or a party, Sweetie. I’ll be the only one in disguise.”